Issue dual booting XP / Win 7 on separate drives

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Velz

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Yesterday i formatted my C drive with Win 7. On the E drive I have win Xp which was my main boot drive. What then happened was that there was no option any longer on startup to choose which OS to boot into, it would go right into the Win 7 install on C. I downloaded this program called EasyBCD to try and make a new boot file. I set it up so that it showed E as a win xp install. Now when the system booted up I had the choices to finally pick from Win Xp or Win 7, however when I chose to go into Xp, it actually rebooted the system.

I then just reinstalled XP on the c drive so i can at least have a boot.ini to edit so i can boot back into the Xp system on E which is successful; I'm on it now.

So heres what i want to do.. i want to reformat C with Win 7 again BUT this time I just want to be prepared to know what to do once its installed to be able to set it up to dual boot. i imagine I'm going to have to edit something (from what i gather win 7 doesnt use a boot.ini anymore which is what that EasyBCD was there to use to edit) to get it working, so if anyone has any tips before I delve into this again that would be great
 

TerryNet

Terry
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Don't know how much I'll be able to help on this particular issue, but we need to know what you're working with. "C drive" and "E drive" have a little meaning when you are booted into Windows, but none outside of Windows. Are you talking about different partitions on the same internal hard drive? An internal hard drive and an external one? Two different internal? Etc.?

Which one of these is the Active partition?

EDIT: Also, which is the Boot partition?
 

Velz

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c and e are both separate physical drives. c is the system drive and e is the boot. Both are internal. I believe c is IDE and E is a SATA if that makes a difference.
 

TerryNet

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Seems to me that the first install of 7 should have worked (dual boot); maybe what happened is that when 7 is installed on the active/system drive it gets lazy and thinks it's all by itself.

I would try making E the active/system drive; then when you install 7 on C it will be forced to notice the XP.

Full disclosure: I'm not an expert in this. I get nervous and make sure I have a CD with a bootable GParted just in case I can't boot back into an installed OS and have to undo something like changing the active partition.
 

Velz

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I was actually trying to figure out how to make E the system drive ...
 

TerryNet

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Expect you can do it with Disk Management in Windows. Select the drive - Action (menu item) - All Tasks - Mark Partition as Active. There's probably some difference between "active" and "system," but they seem to be pretty synonymous.

When Disk Management balks at doing something I go with the free EASEUS Partition Master or the previously mentioned GParted.
 

Velz

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well easeus doesnt show any options to set drives as system or boot, at least that i have found. Gparted I take it does not run on windows. And yes the Disk management in XP wont let me change boot or system drives.
 

TerryNet

Terry
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With Easeus to change the System drive select the desired drive - Partitions - Advanced - Set Active.

GParted's main value to me is on a bootable CD. I do not think there is a version that runs under Windows.
 
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